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To brighten your day: Night Mode elements uncovered in Android 6.0

Initial developer builds of Android M included a hidden Dark color theme, but it was ultimately dropped. Apparently "Night Mode" references still exist. Hmm

Published onOctober 6, 2015

The Dark color theme (seen here, from Android M’s first Developer Preview) was a very cool addition that was sadly removed later.

Although Android 4.0 made use of a dark color scheme to handle menus and settings, 5.0 saw a complete visual overhaul that extended to the color pallet as well: everything became bright white. Personal preferences aside, the new coat of paint irked more than a few users, but especially those with an AMOLED-packing device. Earlier this year when Google launched the Developer Preview of Android M, some eagle-eyed users were quick to spot a new option: Hidden away in the Developer Options settings tab was the ability to select either a Light or Dark theme for the OS skin.

Unfortunately, as the Developer Preview builds are ultimately a work-in-progress,  the feature was eventually cut, and remains absent from the “RTM” build. Enter Hernán Castañón, who was taking a peek at the source code for Marshmallow and has discovered references to a “night mode”:


At the moment it’s impossible to know just what will become of this finding, if anything at all. Google could be planning to formally introduce the feature in a future update (say, Android 6.1 perhaps) or it could be just extra code. Still, much like the “hidden” multi-tasking it’s possible that at the very least some talented people might be able to work their magic and bring on the darkness.

The idea of a night mode that would allow the OS to intelligently change the color theme depending on the time of day would definitely be a major plus for anyone who has ever tried using their phone in the middle of the night and be bathed in glowing white light. And it looks cool to boot.

Should Google have included a Dark Theme option with Android, much like it offers on the stock Android keyboard? Leave us your thoughts below.

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